Northern Fortress - Fort Høytorp

Fort Høytorp

Artillery fort Hoytorp was a key part of Glommen defense line, which was in the valley of Glomme river in 1912-1917. In Glommen Line also includes Fort Trogstad and fortified bridgeheads Fossum and Lagna. The Line had it's task to shield approaches the of Norway capital Christiania (Oslo) from the eastern border with Sweden and it could be used as a base of mobile operations of the Norwegian army in the direction of Sweden.

As well known from school history course that Norway get out from the Swedish-Norwegian union in 1905. There was no war but Norway has been forsed to destroy all the fortifications along the new border with Sweden, including the newly built installations in Fredriksten, which was done in 1906. However, in the same year 1905 planning new fortifications had begun.

In 1911 the Storting approved the military budget and construction began. In 1915 the guns were installed and the 1st artillery school under Colonel OE Jolsen command was opened on the fort. In 1918, all work on the fort have been completed and the fort was put into ranks. All defence line's garrison was 3800 people, garrison of the fort consist of 800 people. The command of the Line was at Fort Hoytorp.

In the 1930s pacifism flourished in Norway and general demilitarization was held, but Glommen Line as a combat unit survived. In 1940, all fort's guns were combat ready however, in the cellars there were only 100 120-mm shells and no shells for 75 mm guns.

Nevertheless artillerymen of the fort did everything they could during the treacherous attack of Nazi Germany on Norway. Fighting began, as we know, shots of Oscarsborg fortress early morning April 9, 1940, April 13 Fort Høytorp supported with its artillery Norwegian ermy units at the battle at Akkima. Adjustment of fire was conducted by telephone. According to eyewitnesses, the fire was very accurate, but the shells in the cellars have ended on April 14.

On the morning of April 14 the Germans attacked the fort, after firing it by field artillery. Fort's garrison and Norwegian troops withdrew and crossed the border to Sweden where they were interned. In 1400 April 14 Germans captured the fort.

After the end of the 2nd World War Glommen Line fortifications were in ranks until 1959 under the command of Colonel H. Gudmundsen. But after the Line disbandment fortifications continued to remain in the clutches of the Norwegian military. Fort Trogstad was a command point of Nike missile battery, fort Hoytorp was a base of Norwegian army transport unit.

In 2001 the military left the fort and all the surrounding area together with the fort was transferred to the local commune Eydsberg and the status of a national monument was given to the Fort. By the way, Fort Hoytorp Association was created in 1996. It has a goal to restore the installation and make a museum here. That's the story ...

Good news from Norway come in 2015: two 7,5 cm Cockerill L/50 and one 12 cm Schneider L/40 guns were mounted at Høytorp fort. The 12 cm has been fired several times 7, 9 and 15 of August this year with blancs.

Impressions

Oh, well, finally! You see, I come to the fort, and towards me dusty huge triaxial American Studdebeker of 1940s goes with roar. And after that Willis, Dodges and many other historical cars and trucks. There is an annual historic festival of war American cars and trucks held on the fort in August.

The fort itself is very interesting and instructive, despite the debacle that occurred during the German occupation. The fact is that the Nazis dismantled fort's guns and afterwards the fort was not reconstructed as artillery installation, and because of that everything is preserved as it was in 1930s. There are a reconstruction and restoration works at the fort, the Association of the fort plans to install the 75 mm turrets at their emplacements spring 2014 and maintain public access to it.

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